Sunday, April 17, 2022

Let's Talk About Easter Sunday

Let's talk about how Easter is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As for the Easter Bunny, the Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated and painted eggs to children on Easter Sunday. But the Easter Bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity's most important holiday. The reason is interesting because, while the exact origins of the mythical Easter Bunny are unclear, rabbits and hares are known to be prolific procreators and have been an ancient symbol of fertility and new life for more years than most realize.

According to some, the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Yes, an egg-laying hare! And for you city folks who might not know it, rabbits and hares don't lay eggs.

During that period, the tradition was for children to make nests in which the "egg-laying" rabbits and hares kept their colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the United States, and the fabled rabbit's Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candies and gifts. Decorated baskets replaced nests. 

Easter is a Christian holiday brought to America by Europeans, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, should not be surprising since the egg is an ancient symbol of new life. European immigrants celebrating Easter as a religious festival used eggs as a way to symbolize the renewal of life. We know for a fact that such a tradition goes back to Medieval times when the egg was seen as a sign of new life. Of course, since Easter is considered the start of Spring, and Spring represents new beginnings, it fits our Christian belief that Easter and the resurrection of Christ is man's new beginning.

Eggs would often be painted with elaborate designs and given to lucky children. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Of course, decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the United States, the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll took place in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus' tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

As for Easter Candy? Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. And really, among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. So yes, folks in the Old West were lucky enough to have gifts of candy eggs. 

Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s. And yes, according to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year just for Easter. That, my friends, is a lot of jelly beans!  

My father-in-law, in Single Action Shooting circles, alias Nickel Jim will be glad to hear that for the past few decades, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep - a sugary, pastel-colored confection. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, based candy manufacturer Just Born, which was founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born back in 1923, began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies. My father-in-law lives for the yellow ones!

In New York City, the annual Easter Parade is a tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s when the upper crust of New York society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches and then stroll outside afterward to show off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century, and in 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it - You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade."

Today, the Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being shut down during the day to traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated bonnets and hats. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. 

It's interesting to note that even though public schools are banning the word "Easter" from being used by children, there are cities across America that are also holding their own Easter Parades. And while it is okay in public schools today to live out Muslim holidays in dress and language, Christian symbolism is of any sort is being treated as bad as the Black Plague. 

Let me make something clear, while I don't really care if some devout Atheist Communist ass doesn't believe in what I believe, sadly, today it is extremely fashionable among the Atheist Communists on the Left in America and elsewhere to attack Christians and our most sacred holidays. And what's worst is that the Left has convinced others that any reference to Christian beliefs must be banned. Yes, even if the reference that they seek to ban on grounds that it applies to Christians has absolutely nothing to do with the Holy Bible, our Christian faith, or Christian traditions.  

Take, for example, Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama, which in 2013 banned the "E" word, "Easter." The kids there were absolutely forbidden from saying the words "Easter Bunny" or even "Easter Eggs." Why? Well, according to Lydia Davenport, the principal at the school says, it was because "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion."  Imagine that coming from a supposedly educated person, "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion." Imagine how threatening Christianity must be to such people. 

As I said earlier, there is no mention of an Easter Rabbit, Hare, or Bunny of any sort in the Holy Bible. No, there was no Easter Bunny who healed the sick; no Easter Bunny walked on water; no Easter Bunny turned water into wine; no Easter Bunny was ever arrested for preaching peace; no Easter Bunny was crucified on a cross for the sins of the world. 

Since kids were not allowed to say the word "Easter," it was fairly reasonable to presume that teachers and political correctness had gone over the edge of sanity. And yes, as another writer asked, "What will students call Easter Island now? Will teachers take it upon themselves to rename Easter Island to Spring Island?" No, but it just shows the stupidity of such things. Of course, what happened did make national news.

Below is a copy of the 2013 letter sent out to parents regarding the use of the word "Easter" at Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama. After getting pressure to observe American traditions and heritage, you will notice that this school official gets the point. It's just a shame that it had to become an issue.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are all enjoying spring break. Please allow me to infringe on your break for a moment to bring you up to speed on a topic that has garnered national attention.

The controversy centers around an Easter egg hunt for the second grade and kindergarten classes at Heritage Elementary School. The activity was planned but the principal stepped in and asked that the activity not occur because the activity carried the title Easter. As you know, we walk a fine line in public education working to stay within the guidelines of recent court decisions. After the conversation, it was decided that the hunt was not in violation of any policies or procedures and that it could proceed as planned. I am pleased to inform you that it took place last week before we were dismissed for spring break.

At a previously planned elementary principals’ meeting last week, I informed the principals that in Madison City we would continue to have seasonal celebrations and activities such as Christmas gifts and Easter egg hunts. These traditions are a part of our rich heritage and I do not see them as infringing on ones’ religious rights. Additionally, words such as Christmas and Easter are not banned at our schools.

In all the national media reports they fail to mention that the Easter egg hunt occurred last week and that all our elementary principals have been advised that seasonal activities are acceptable. Sorry to disturb your break but I wanted you to be informed.

Respectfully,
Dee O. Fowler
Superintendent of Education
Madison City Schools

Now, as for so-called "educators" who would say incredibly dumb things like "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion," allow me to inform them of a few things. Nowhere is there any mention of the Easter Bunny in the Bible. And really, there is a good reason for that. Easter is not about a bunny, it's about the lamb of God. The lamb symbolizes Jesus. The lamb embodies purity and goodness, but it also represents sacrifice.

Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, his sacrifice for our sins, at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Holy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. 

Easter in the Bible is mentioned in the biblical account of Jesus' death on the cross, his crucifixion, his burial, his resurrection, and his rising from the dead, which can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; John 19:16-20:30; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; 1Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:12; and Romans 6:4.

Sadly, even when shown that Scripture in the Holy Bible was written in three languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, over a period of more than fifteen hundred years by more than forty authors in three separate Continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, all men of different backgrounds and ages, there are non-believers who question the first-hand accounts, the teachings of Christ, the motives of those who wrote it, and of course the very message of Christ "to do justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).

As stated in the Holy Bible, Easter celebrates his death on a cross as a redemptive sacrifice, as the source of humanity's salvation. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very foundation of our Christian faith. Through our faith in the working of God, we Christians are spiritually resurrected with Jesus. We are redeemed so that we may walk in a new way of life.

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches. As a Catholic, as a Christian, I know that Christianity is about believing. According to Scripture, Jesus came back to life and was raised from the dead -- three days after his death on the cross. As part of Easter, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter.

The word "Easter" is derived from the Hebrew word "Pesach" for "he passed over." In Spanish and Italian, the word for "Easter" is "Pascua. " In French, it is "Paques." In Portuguese, it is "Pascoa,"

In the year 325AD, the Catholic Church declared in a proclamation that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox. This date was determined by noting that the Last Supper, as Christians know it, was actually a Passover seder, and Jesus's resurrection occurred on that Sunday. Jewish Passover occurs on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan on the first full moon on or after the Equinox. A further connection to Jewish Passover is the fact that it celebrates the angel of death passing over the houses where the doors were marked with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. Remember, the lamb symbolizes Jesus. As I said before, while the lamb embodies purity and goodness, it also represents sacrifice.

Jesus is seen by Christians as the sacrificial lamb whose blood was shed so that we would have everlasting life. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

As for the true meaning of Easter? It is a day when Christians celebrate the miracle of God who "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." His resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. Christians, through faith in the working of God, are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

So now, did I mention how eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus' resurrection? Don't you hate it when someone repeats himself over and over again to hammer a point home? Yes, even when that point concerns how some folks have a very hard time understanding symbolism such as how an egg can represent new life. Yes, the exact same way that some so-called "educators" would say something as dumb as "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion." 

So, while the resurrection of Christ is what Christianity is based upon, Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection from death, as written in the Holy Bible. But, throughout the Holy Bible, Scripture never mentions an Easter Bunny. While rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility and rebirth, that rabbit is never mentioned in the Holy Bible.

Tom Correa

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article, so well done, and informing of many things I didn't know; except the part about Jesus' resurrection. Great job, Tom.

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